Media Advisory: They’re back! Pre-finals llama festival returns to campus

(Associated Students of the University of California photo by Andrew-Ian Bullitt)

ATTENTION: General assignment, East Bay, higher education reporters
NOTE: Excellent visuals for broadcast crews, photographers

WHAT: Llamapalooza, a llama festival for UC Berkeley students facing the stress of upcoming final exams, which run Dec. 10 to 14. Students can guide llamas through an obstacle course, groom and feed them and pose for selfies with the South American camelids.

This year, student government is bringing seven llamas to Berkeley — more llamas than ever before. They’re arriving just in time for Reading/Review/Recitation Week, which begins Monday, Dec. 3. The llamas have been a fixture here for several years; they also visit during Suicide Awareness Week. The Llamapalooza festival, created in response to the animals’ growing popularity on campus, was first held last April.

Llamas are intelligent, social animals used in animal therapy to benefit humans’ mental and physical health.

WHEN: 12 noon to 3 p.m. this coming Monday, Dec. 3.

WHERE: Memorial Glade, UC Berkeley. See campus map.

WHO:

  • Ana Claire Mancia, a senior majoring in business, is organizing the event. She holds the official title at Berkeley of “llama coordinator” in the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC) academic affairs vice president’s office.”We’ve seen a deep connection between students and llamas,” she says. “Llamas provide students with many mental health benefits and put everything in perspective when we feel overwhelmed by finals.”
  • Rancher George “Geo” Caldwell of Llamas of Circle Home brings the llamas to campus from his ranch in Sonora. He has worked with llamas since 1982. He takes them to meet people at schools, nursing homes, tech events, nature trails and city parks.

DETAILS: This event is for UC Berkeley students and is not open to the public.

For more information, please contact Ana Claire Mancia at (310) 936-5763 (cell) and anamancia@berkeley.edu.
Or, contact Gretchen Kell in UC Berkeley’s Office of Communications and Public Affairs at (510) 410-7769 (cell) and grk@berkeley.edu.